About - Tim McCormick
this is the personal web site for Tim McCormick
I’m a housing advocate, researcher, and project developer based in Portland, Oregon, and Northern California, USA. I’m Director of Housing Alternatives Network non-profit, through which I support my and others’ work on various initiatives, including consulting to Cascadia Clusters, research & communications manager for National Vehicle Residency Collective, lead organizer of the Village Collaborative network, and editor of HousingWiki. I’m also writing/editing an open-source community book project, Village Buildings: West Coast housing from the bottom up, and editing/co-writing a book, Apology for the Builder, on speculative and terraced housing from 17th century London to today, for YIMBY Press. See also full list of current and past projects.
More bio details:
I was born in Portland, Oregon, then grew up in London for 10 years, then lived in Portland, then New Haven, CT; New York for 14 years; Palo Alto for 3 years; San Francisco, Oakland, & Mendocino County, California for 4 years; now based in Portland and Northern California..
Ida B. Wells-Barnett (formerly Wilson) High School, Portland Public Schools, 1992 – Valedictorian.
Yale University, B.A. in Art / Design, 1997.
Directed Studies first-year honors program.
My design studies were focused on Information Design, book history and design, and architecture (history, theory, philosophy). I also studied various other areas including Computer Science, literary and post-colonial studies, and sociology.
New York University / Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University joint program – I am ABD for a MSLIS (Library and Information Science) degree.
I received full funding for this study from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (US Federal agency), 21st Century Librarian Grant.
Portland State University – I’ve also studied art, computer science, etc, and worked at PSU at various times, including during high school and full-time for 1993-94 academic year.
I formerly worked at Stanford University, at Stanford MediaX, and at HighWire Press, as Senior Product Manager for Emerging Content. Previously, I worked at OCLC, Online Computer Library Center, in the Grid Services (i.e. Web Services) group. Before that, at startup Openly Informatics (acquired by OCLC), and Juno Online Services in New York City.
In application for Republic of Ireland citizenship.
Selected projects (here’s a full project list):
Cascadia Clusters - consultant to Portland non-profit which hires and trains formerly houseless and in-recovery residents to build housing & shelter structures.
PDX Shelter Forum – online events and discussion forum on alternative shelter and housing for the houseless in Portland. Co-founder and moderator/organizer. Also, in connection with this, Tim coordinates community-sourced analysis and position papers on current issues or legislation, and regularly presents spoken or written testimony to various government bodies such as Portland City Council and Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.
Village Collaborative – lead organizer and writer/editor for this national (& somewhat international) network, supporting self-managed communities of cost-effective tiny homes for people in need of housing. It includes a large Facebook group (1800+ members) and a wiki collaboration platform. It is a project of Square One Villages non-profit, based in Eugene, Oregon.
For more about this, see interview of SquareOne Villages founder and me, “The Village Alternative: Andrew Heben and Tim McCormick Have a Democratic Solution to Houselessness,” by Portland journalist Thacher Schmid, Dec 2020.
HousingWiki, an online collaborative platform for research and advocacy materials on housing and land use. (formerly YIMBYwiki).
Village Buildings: West Coast housing from the bottom up: an in-progress community book project examining recent innovative and radical “bottom-up” housing programs, and how they fit into or challenge traditions of self-build, social, and community-development housing. It is currently hosted and developed on HousingWiki as an open article collection.
Media Distillery (2012-present): a collection of ongoing / intermittent explorations, writings, projects, presentations about tracking, sorting, analyzing personal media use. (“personal librarianship”). Including:
Reading book shelf: an often-changing list of books/items to be read, or recently read, maintained as a sub-list within Tim’s personal library catalog hosted on LibraryThing platform
Readings List (record of what read, mostly books and some papers etc)
Films list (seen, and to see): tracking since 1986.
My personal book library catalogued on LibraryThing.
Web readings archive since early 2014,
Amazon wishlist, books, tools, design objects, etc; sorted by priority. (short link: bit.ly/tims-wishlist)..
Houslets: an ongoing, intermittent project to research, prototype, and test low-cost, DIY (Do It Yourself), adaptable living spaces. Since 2014 I've exhibited, received grant-funding and lived for several years cumulatively in various prototype dwelling structures. These are designed to be easily built and changed by most people, using easily available materials; but that are capable of compliance with building code, vehicle, or temporary-structure codes. The project has received press coverage in the New York Times, San Francisco Examiner, Silicon Valley Business Journal, KPIX (NBC television news, Bay Area), etc, and received funding from Buena Vista Center for the Arts, the Institute for the Future, the Knight Foundation, a crowdsourcing campaign, and others.
BoxShelves: flat-packable, durable, low-cost storage boxes that can also assemble into bookshelves, furniture, & divider walls. This was motivated especially by managing my often-moved book library as noted above, and also for creating interior/flexible spaces on a similar and integratable model as Houslets.
New Starter Homes – grant-proposal project originated in 2018 to pilot a large-scale program of low-cost, movable, pre-fabbable, backyard cottages, to create affordability for low-income Portland renters and homeowners, and for disaster / climate change adaptability. (also incorporated into Village Buildings book).
Another Design is Possible: 10 Contrarian Design Patterns & Projects is a post / half-serious book proposal from 2013, discussing and linking to various projects from then.
co-founder, Open Library of Humanities, in 2012-13: now the leading online platform for Open Access scholarly journals in the humanities.
Social-media etc information
Twitter: @tmccormick, @Housing_Wiki
Medium (where I usually put posts/essays): tmccormick.medium.com
Instagram (I only occasionally use): tmccormick10
I have had two cats, Bao-yu (贾宝玉 / 賈寶玉 / Jiǎ Bǎoyù / Chia Pao-yu, “precious jade”, RIP 2005-2021, and Tai-yu (林黛玉 / Lín Dàiyù / Lin Tai-yu; “Blue-black Jade”), RIP 2008-2016. Also, for part of 2021 I had another cat, I called Abela, like female version of Abel the shepherd in Genesis, or Baochai (薛宝钗; Xuē Bǎochāi; Hsueh Pao-chai; ‘Jeweled Hair Pin’). The Chinese names are from main characters in the 18th-century Qing dynasty novel, Dream of the Red Chamber (Hónglóu mèng / 红楼梦), one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels and possibly my favorite work of literature.
Photographs: Flickr-hosted photos 2005 to 2011 or so? 2017- on, Google Photos: https://photos.tmccormick.org (note this a just a manually-made listing of albums, because GPhotos unaccountably doesn’t (as of 6/2022) offer any way to do that. I have way more photos & albums than shown there).
my San Francisco / Bay Area Google map (some places of note to me)
Amazon Wishlist: books, tools, design objects, etc — Sorted by priority; Sorted by most recently added.